New documents have surfaced indicating that the IRS investigated liberal groups applying for 501(4)(c) tax status. This new information came mere days after Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), ranking Democratic member on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, disclosed transcripts of an interview between the committee and an IRS screening manager.
Much like the transcripts released by Cummings, the new documents all but punch holes in Issa’s conspiracy theory of the Obama Administration using the IRS as a political weapon against partisan opposition. The IRS used what they called “Be on the Lookout” (BOLO) lists, which contained key terms including “progressive” and “occupy” to investigate liberal groups much in the same way they used terms like “tea party” and “patriot” to investigate conservative groups.
The finding of the documents came about after Obama ordered new IRS commissioner, Danny Werfel, to conduct a 30-day review upon his appointment last month. The review was intended to bring the nuts and bolts of the “scandal” to light, thus the IRS documents confirming investigations of both parties. Werfel noted that the IRS used “improper terms” and their continued use in order to key in on certain political groups.
Although Werfel found use of “improper terms,” he told journalists that “We have not found evidence of intentional wrongdoing by anyone in the IRS or involvement in these matters by anyone outside the IRS.”
Issa fired back and said the review “fails to meaningfully answer the largest outstanding questions about inappropriate inquiries.”
These findings will surely change the tide of this “IRS scandal” investigation that Issa has politicized to use as an attack on liberals. What Issa does after these documents becoming public will be indicative of his true notions behind the Oversight Committee’s investigations. He’ll either stall out altogether or he will scramble to the bipartisan route in attempt to shed any veneer of politicization.
Joshua de Leon is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.